Freezing veggies for the worms

Our friend, Annie, who breeds composting worms gave me a great tip a while back. It’s one I’ve been following and it works a treat. The tip is to freeze the vegetable scraps that are going to be fed to your worms. Then thaw them before feeding them. Freezing causes the water in the cells of the scraps to expand, making them burst. This means, that they break down much faster in the worm farm and are accessible to the worms earlier. I took Annie’s suggestion a step further. I put the scraps in a (reused of course) plastic bag and bash the frozen chunks with a mallett before thawing them and adding them to the worm farm. That breaks them up good. Some folks put their scraps for their worms in a blender, but that takes energy. Out freezer is always on anyway and its not hard to find a little space to chill the scraps. I suppose that,

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Worm tower maintenance

Worm towers are an excellent way to keep up the nutrient levels in our wicking beds. They require little maintenance beyond a regular top up. I was wondering if they needed a periodic clean out, so pulled up one and had a look.   I was interested in what was happening at the bottom of the tower, below the surface of the wicking bed – the part I don’t see regularly. What I found was that the soil had been broken down into pretty much just sand and a little silt. There seemed to be little of the organic material that was present in the mix when I filled the beds. It was quite compacted too, not the worm tunnel ridden rich organic material that I expected. Maybe it was because it was Winter. The contents were a little different to what I’d found in he warmer weather (in this post). This material accounted for, roughly, the bottom 10cms of

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My first strawbale garden veggies.


The veggies in the straw bale garden are rocketing along. There’s even enough to share with the slugs!

Pic 2 shows one of the benefits of using pea straw… free peas!

Everything’s settled in after 2 -3 months, we have green veg leaves, kombucha, both water and milk kefir, the worms are a breeding and we have no green waste leaving the house.

Worms.


Worms are an awesome and simple way to recycle household food scraps into valuable fertilizer and compost. These little fellows are working so hard converting ours that they are, literally, fogging up my camera lens!

I had an old farm that I dug out of the shed and gave a good wash. I ‘sterilized’ it by giving it a wipe down with Sodium Metabisulphate (the stuff home brewers use to sterilize their equipment).

To stop the worms drowning in summer when they dive to the bottom to avoid the heat, I filled the lowest layer with vermiculite. My guess is that that will allow drainage but still give the worns a way to climb back up.

On the advice of a ‘Uncle Rob’, the local worm supplier, I filled the first layer with coir fibre. To this I added 1000+ worms (purchased from Uncle Rob, of course).

I had prepared a half a bucketful of food scraps a couple of days earlier (to soften things up) and added this.

One last thing was a teasooon of dolomite spread over the food scraps. This ‘sweetens’ things by making the pH more appropriate for the worms.

Oh yeah…before I forget, I leave the tap open to allow drainage and collect the super worm liquid gold.

Thats it! Casa De Vermis, a food conversion factory in action.

The other day I found another farm in a 2nd hand shop. That’s sitting there waiting for action.

I’ll do another post when things are really wriggling along.